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A Guide To A Weekend Camping Trip In Snowdonia

A Guide To A Weekend Camping Trip In Snowdonia

Snowdonia has to be one of the best places to visit in the UK for camping, adventure and incredible scenery! Whether you live in the UK or visiting from overseas, this is a national park that you should definitely consider adding to your list, and if done right you can have a great weekend making the most what this place has to offer without it costing you a fortune. In this blog i’m going to talk you through what Snowdonia has to offer for weekend camping trip, so you can use these ideas for your own travel plans when visiting the national park.

Let’s go!

Getting to Snowdonia

OK, so i’m going to kick this post off with the best way people can get to Snowdonia, whether travelling from overseas or from in the UK itself.

If you are visiting from overseas then the best airport to fly to would be Manchester international airport, not only is it the closest international airport but it is also the easiest to get to Snowdonia from. Once you arrive at Manchester Airport you can then catch a train from the airport to Betws-y-Coed, this train journey will take you roughly 3 hours 25 minutes with one change over at Llandudno Junction and will cost you £23 for a single ticket or £39 for a return ticket. If you are renting a car then make sure you have a Sat Nav booked (or use maps on your phone) so you can follow the directions to Snowdonia, the best location too drive to would be Betws-y-Coed (Address - Royal Oak Hotel, Holyhead Rd, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0AY) as this is a good starting point in the national park as everything can be easily accessed from this location, the drive from Manchester is 90 miles and takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

For people in the UK, again if you are catching the train you want to head for Llandudno Junction and then catch a train into Betws-y-Coed. If you are driving to the park, then best way I would recommend getting there is to use a SatNav and then follow then A470 to Betws- y-Coed if you are entering from either the north or south, or the A5 if you are entering the park from the east side, from here you can then easily make your way to campsites in the area.

For planning your trip to the park id definitely recommend the following websites for best prices.

Flights - www.skyscanner.com

Train - www.trainline.com

Car hire - www.enterprise.com

Camping in Snowdonia

There is a great selection of campsites in Snowdonia to chose from but in this blog I am going to cover my personal favourite, I will follow up to this blog with a separate post with a selection of different campsites located throughout Snowdonia, so make sure to keep an eye out for that.

Llyn Gwynant Campsite

Llyn Gwynant

Llyn Gwynant

This is without a doubt one of my favourite campsites, located at the foot of Snowdon this place has great access to trails leading up the famous welsh peak and also to other outstanding hikes in the area. The scenery at this campsite is probably some of the best you can get at any campsite in the national park, the huge valley and the lake is an absolute pleasure to wake up to in the morning. Putting the scenery and location aside, this place makes for a great campsite because of its conveniences, by this I mean there are facilities there that can really make your camping experience easier and make your trip feel more like a holiday rather than camping, if that is what you are looking for. At the site you will find a variety of facilities such as toilets, showers, food stall (selling cooked food), bar and a shop that sells all the things that you may have forgot to bring with you, by the way you really need to try the pizza from the food stall, it’s some of the best pizza I’ve ever tried. The site is huge and can fit plenty of people without it feeling too crowded, pre booked tents in quieter areas on the front of the lake can also be made if you want to see that sunrise over the water from your tent the next morning. The camping grounds are really well maintained making pitching up a lot easier, there are also fire trays available if you are wanting to make a fire and firewood can be purchased after 6 o clock in the evening for £5 a bag. The site works to a couple of rules that you need to abide by to ensure everyone has a good time, such as no loud music and silence after 11 o clock in the evening. Tipis can also be rented at the site for special occasions, these Tipis are located off of the main campsite and make it feel like you have the place to yourself. The campsite also has hookups for caravans and campers, just make sure to book your bay in advance. This is also a great place to stay if you are looking into doing some water sports, boats and SUP’s can be rented from the campsite and taken out onto the lake.

Prices

  • Price per night adult (camping) - £10 / £11 / £!2 (depending on time of year)

  • Price per night youth (camping) - £7.50

  • Price per night child (camping) - £5

  • Price per night dog - £2

  • Price per night vehicle - £1

  • Price per night (electrical hook up) - £4

  • Price per night (awning) - £5

Activities

  • Boat Hire

  • Adventures

  • Walking

  • Boat Launching

  • Climbing

  • Swimming

Address -

Llyn Gwynant Campsite
Nant Gwynant
Caernarfon
Gwynedd
LL55 4NW

Ratings

  • Location - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Facilities - ✰✰✰✰

  • Activities - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Food and drink - ✰✰✰✰

  • Value for money - ✰✰✰✰✰

Llyn Gwynant Campsite Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

www.llyngwynantcampsite.com

Activities in Snowdonia

Where to start, there is an unlimited amount of options when looking for something to do in Snowdonia and If I was to go through them all I would be here for ever, so in that case I will go through my top picks of activities to do when visiting Snowdonia.

  1. Hiking

Possibly one of the most fun and cheapest activities there is, there are too many great hikes to count but there are definitely some that stand out from the rest. Below is a couple of the most stunning hikes to do when visiting Snowdonia.

Llyn Idwal

Llyn Idwal

Llyn Idwal

Located 20 minutes away from Llyn Gwynant campsite this is definitely a hike you need to put on your list. Llyn Idwal has some of the most dramatic landscapes you will ever see and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get to, from the car park it only takes a short walk until you’re stood on the shores of the lake staring up at the tall sharp mountains in front of you, from here you can take either an easy or adventurous path around the lake before heading back down to the car park, this walk has something for people of different hiking abilities.

Start point - Ogwen Cottage car park, Nant Ffrancon, Bethesda LL57 3LZ.

Duration - 1.5 - 2 hours

Difficulty -

  • Easy (Lower path around the lake)

  • Moderate (Higher path around the lake)

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

Watkins Path Waterfall

Watkins Path Waterfall

Watkins Path Waterfall

If you are staying at Llyn Gwynant campsite then this is a hike that you definitely have to do, you don’t even have to drive anywhere, you can simply wake up in the morning and jump straight onto the trail from the campsite. Located at the back of the campsite you will find a small bridge that crosses the river, from here you can follow the trail around the lake and the towards Watkins path, the woodland trail around the lake is pretty challenging in places so if your not a very experience hiker then it may be worth walking along the shores next to the main round on the opposite side of the lake for the first section of this hike. After reaching the end of the lake, you need to follow the river to Beddgelert campsite, from here you can pick up the trail for Walkins path. Follow Watkins path for roughly 30 minutes and eventually you will come to a gate, before the gate you will see a small path leading off to the right, follow this path down and it will take your to the waterfalls, make sure your cameras charged for this one. From the falls you can then take Watkins path back down or take the pathway parallel to Watkins path on the opposite side of the falls, which will also lead back down to Beddgelert campsite and then from there you can retrace your step back to Llyn Gwynant. The falls are relatively easy to find but id definitely recommend a map just to help you out a little bit.

Start point - Llyn Gwynant Campsite, Nant Gwynant, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 4NW

Duration - 3 - 4 Hours

Difficulty -

  • Moderate (shoreline / main road path around Llyn Gwynant)

  • Hard (Forest path around Llyn Gwynant)

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

2. Adventures / Thrills

If you are looking for something more adventurous or thrilling then there is quite a few options to keep you entertained. Below are my top picks for activities that you can do in Snowdonia, with a bit more adventure and thrills.

Zipworld

Zipworld

Zipworld

Zipworld have really done well in creating a variety of adventures for people of all ages. With so many activities and adventures to choose from, this is something you should definitely look in to. If you love to get your adrenaline going then id recommend trying out Europes fastest zipline ‘velocity 2’ located at the zip world quarry.

Other activities available from Zipworld are;

  • Tree to adventure

  • Plummet

  • Skyride

  • Zip safari

  • Forest coaster

  • Bounce below

  • Caverns tour

  • Quarry tour

  • Quarry karts

  • Ziplines

As you can see, there is a wide range of activities available for you to fill a day or a weekend with. For more information check out their website.

www.zipworld.com


Snowdon Climb / Train

Snowdon Train

Snowdon Train

It wouldn’t be a trip to Snowdonia without reaching the summit of the famous Welsh peak, with a variety of routes leading up the mountain there is a path for everyone of different capabilities and experience, if your a first time hiker then the Llanberis path is probably best suited for you, if you have some experience and want to push yourself a little more then the Pyg or Miners path are routes you should consider, now if you want a real rush and are willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone then the Crib Goch path is the one for you, a sharp steep ridge that will have you crawling to the top of Snowdon, this one is not for the faint hearted. If you aren’t really into hiking but are still wanting to visit Snowdons summit then don’t worry, a train from Llanberis will take you all the way to the top and back down without you having to break a sweat, tickets can be booked in advance on their website to ensure you get a seat on the day, id definitely recommend doing this if you are visiting during busy periods as Snowdon has become very popular within the past few years.

For more information about Snowdons routes, check out the website below.

www.snowdon.com

For more information about the Snowdon train, check out the website below.

www.snowdontrain.com


3. Water sports

Surf Snowdonia

Surf Snowdonia

Snowdonia has some great locations for water sports, so make sure you make the most of it when visiting, Llanberis and Llyn Gwynant are both awesome locations to rent a boat or SUP and get out on the water.

Surf Snowdonia

If you want to get a bit more extreme with your water sports, then you definitely need to check out surf Snowdonia. The huge wave simulator makes for a great surfing experience, with some spectacular views of the national park as you cruise along the water. Here you have the option to learn the basics of surfing or take your skills to the next level with a variety of courses available, if you already know the ropes then there are also passes available to purchase to shred the waves at you own pace. If you want a more relaxed experience, then there is also the option to rent an SUP to go for a nice gentle paddle along the water. There are also camping pods onsite for you to hire if you want to make a full weekend of it, just make sure you book well in advance as this place can get booked up pretty quick.

For more information, make sure to check out their website.

www.surfsnowdonia.com


4. Mountain Biking

Penmachno MTB Trails

Penmachno MTB Trails

If mountain biking is your thing, then Snowdonia has you covered, with a variety of single trails scattered around the national park there’s definitely plenty to keep you satisfied. Out of the trails available, there are definitely a couple that stand tall above the rest, both of these trails are only a short drive from Llyn Gwynant campsite, so that means less time driving and more time riding.

Gwydir Mawr & Bach

Formerly known as Marin trail, Gwydir Mawr & Back mountain bike trails have some of the best views available in comparison to any other mountain bike trail I have rode. Starting from the car park (Postcode - LL26 0PN) located 5 minutes from Betws-y-Coed, you will head into the depths of the Gwydir forest, after ascending through the forest you will eventually come to an opening with stunning views of the national park that go on for miles, its definitely rewarding and makes the climb to the top worth it, and its not just the views that make this trail so good, here you will find some great pieces of single track that are fast, flowy, and technical, perfect for those who are looking for an adrenaline rush. The trail is split into two sections, Gwydir Bach being the shorter trail (8.7km) and Gwydir Mawr being the longer trail (25km), combine them both and you have a huge ride of nearly 30km. Sign posts can be found directing you around each trail, Gwydir Bach is posted with the purple signs, whereas Gwydir Mawr is posted with red signs, making the trails very easy to navigate.

For more info on Gwydir Mawr & Bach mountain bike trails, make sure to check out the website.

www.mountainbikewales.com


Penmachno

An absolute gem of a mountain bike trail, this place is great for those looking to push themselves. Located 10 minutes from Betws- y-Coed, the car park can be found just off the B4406 (Car Park Postcode - LL24 0AZ). Starting with a gruelling climb, this trail will take you deep into the vast country side, if your aiming to get away from the crowds then this is your place. This trail is also split into two sections, Loop 1 (19km) and Loop 2 (11km), combining both loops will give you a solid 30km of fast paced and technical single trail, this is definitely a place for riders seeking thrills as well as a challenge. There are points in this trail which will make you feel like you have the national park to yourself, an exhilarating experience you will not forget, so if your looking for a great mountain bike adventure, I couldn’t recommend this place enough.

Find out more details on their website.

www.penmachnotrails.com


Places to eat and drink

The Stables, Betws-y-Coed

The Stables, Betws-y-Coed

All these activities and exploring is going to have you working up an appetite, luckily Snowdonia has some fantastic places to get yourself a bite to eat.

Station Cafe - Betws-y-Coed

This is somewhere I go every time I visit Snowdonia, the train station themed cafe has definitely become one of my favourite places to eat, the prices are reasonable, the staff are friendly and the food and drink is great. My personal favourite has to be the BLT with the homemade chips, and a hot chocolate.

Prices - Low / Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰


The Stables - Betws-y-Coed

A great place to go after a long day hiking, these portion sizes will keep you full for days. Some great food and drink for a good price, if you are feeling hungry then this is the place to go. In summer this is also a great place to stop off for a few drinks and relax outside in the sun. If you fancy a challenge then you need to take on the three peaks burger, a gigantic triple burger with a side of chips and onion rings will leave you feeling like the real three peaks challenge might actually be easier.

Prices - Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰

Fforest Caffi - Zipworld Forest

A fantastic little place to stop for a bite to eat after a day of swinging through the trees, even if you’re not spending the day at Zipworld forest this place is still well worth stopping off for some lunch. The little cabin in the woods sells a variety of good food for a decent price, my personal favourite has to be the sweet potato soup.

Prices - Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰✰

Drink -✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰


Hafod Eryri - Peak of Snowdon

If you are heading to the top of Snowdon then it’ll be nice to know that there is a place to stop off and get some food when you reach the summit. Not only do they sell good food but you get some amazing views from the Cafe as you eat your lunch. By the way, if you are into your pies and pasties then this place has got you covered.

Prices - Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰

Snowdonia

Snowdonia

Snowdonia Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

Whether you live in the UK or visiting from overseas, Snowdonia is a somewhere that you need to put on your list of places to visit, the stunning landscape and incredible activities will keep you wanting to come back for more, I have been visiting this place for the past five years and I still get excited each time I go. I hope this blog has given you a good idea of what Snowdonia has to offer and has also helped you with your own plans to visit the national park. If you still have any questions in regards to visiting Snowdonia then please feel free to email me. Make sure to follow my instagram @theredbackpacktraveller for my latest adventures and blog announcements, I will be following up this blog in the near future with more guides to Snowdonia as well as other national parks around the UK, so make sure to keep an eye out for my latest blogs for some great travel ideas and plans. Thank you and happy travels!





























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